Wednesday, 24 April 2019

April Life Update; Pet Sitting Leopard Spotted Geckos

Hi readers,

My brother and his wife went on holiday for two weeks and they asked me to look after their rabbits and leopard spotted geckos. Way back in college I did a two year animal care course and I was lucky that the college I went to had an 'Exotic animal room' where there was snakes, tarantula, america bull frog and some other things. I didn't have much of a fear of anything before I started and doing the course give me a greater understanding of these animals too. 

I can't remember when my brother got these two geckos but I know he was still living at home when they did as I have memories of them being in his bedroom on the desk. I though, have't seen the geckos that much since he moved out around maybe five or six years ago. When they've been on holiday someone else looks after them but this time they asked me and I thought it would be a nice change. 

Rabbits are easy to looked after and I've had many in my childhood and teenage years, so there's no problems there. Geckos on the other hand, surprisingly, need a lot of looking after! 

Firstly, there is a bit of a smell within the geckos' cage which can take sometime to get use to. Staying on top of cleaning them can help this. 

Second, is that geckos eat live food. My brother has these two on large brown crickets and mealworms. The worms are fine but the crickets are super annoying! I had to move them out of my bedroom as that's the only place for the geckos to stay and put the crickets in my old room as I couldn't cope with the sound of them scuttling around in the plastic box! Also, the chirping does bug me, especially at night! I've sort of got use to this now, I just hope that there's not some crickets loose in my room as that won't be fun at all! 

The geckos need feeding every other evening as they are nocturnal and they get about 6 crickets each, which have to be dusted in calcium power. In the morning, any remaining crickets have to come out otherwise they bite the geckos! 

I am a rubbish cricket catcher! The best way I found was a cup and paper method but crickets are fast, they jump and are good at hiding! So, it's become a big task in the morning to try and capture them all and most of the time I don't succeeded. 

Geckos do love the mealworms but they are all fat and nothing else, so they only get mealworms when they've not really eaten the crickets or as a treat. 

They don't seem picky eaters but there are times like when they are stressed or shedding when they won't eat. So, I try and reduce the number of crickets when I think it's needed.  

Speaking shedding; adults shed around once or twice a month and the geckos eat their shedding skin which is why before and after they don't eat or don't eat as much as they normally do. Geckos need a moist box and some special shedding spray to add them in making sure they get all their skin off. Sometimes, they need a human to get gets bits off their toes and tail.

I was't thrilled on this idea of using tweezers to peel dead skin off a gecko! But it wasn't that bad and the spray really helps in doing this. If I don't make sure all the dead skin is off, the blood supple to that area can be lost and the gecko can loose toes or tail tips! This has actually happen with these geckos as their last owner before my brother came to have them didn't look after them correctly. 

Both geckos are friendly and don't mind being picked up. However, I've found that the one photoed above which is the darker or less spotted one, is much more friendly and often wants to be out of the tank and exploring. 

Sometimes, she'll come to the door and stare out or try to climb up to show she wants out! Then I let her out for a bit of a walk around the desk but nowhere else as I don't want to explain to my brother that she's gone missing. 

Afterwards, she'll climb back in again and go to get warm on the heat pad. 

It's been interesting and fun pet sitting the geckos. I've gotten use to them now and it'll feel weird when my brother comes to pick them up later tonight. I'll be glad to get rid of the crickets though! For me, geckos are not a pet I'd like to keep as they do need lots of looking after and I'd rather have a animal that was soft, fluffy and cuddly!  

Below, are a few more photos I took. I need to end this post now as I've got a story to write for my other blog. So, until next time!

(Photos all my own). 

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

April Life Update; More Knitting Is Happening!

Hi readers, 

As promised here's some photos of the finished rainbow blanket and blue baby jackets. The blanket itself is too big to photo in one. It's really fluffy and soft, I'm actually sad to have to put it away in the baby box as I'd rather keep it for myself! 

I also got these two baby jackets done and I realised that knit-purl stitch is better for them as the flower pattern comes up more and also I only use one ball of wool to make them. They are so cute, though I as hoping a boy would be able to wear them but they look to girly with the flowers on. 

Because I love this brand of wool I got some more balls in different colours and as they knit up real fast, I made a four jackets in about a month! My favourite in is the mix pastels, I love the sunset effect. My second is the purple one which was called Lavender Fields. My lest is actually the pink one as the colour is like a hot pink and it's not a shade I like. 

I really like knitting this jackets and they turned out so well. 

I made this cute little jacket after finishing those but I wasn't happy with the wool itself as it untwisted a lot and it wasn't as nice to knit with. I like the butterfly button on the front. 

My latest jacket to get finished is this blue and white one. I made it out of snuggly wool that's actually for blankets but mum brought it for me and didn't get enough of it, so we decided to make a sort of bath time / bed time jacket for a toddler from it. I also got to make a hood for the first time! I really liked making this and there's no shaping in it so it was simple to make. I just hope I can find a child that fits in it now. 

Big Blanket Project 

So sadden by having to put the rainbow blanket away, I decided to make a big blanket of my own! I looked through my stock pile for enough wool and found I had 12 balls of this blue/white mix which is actually like to the wool and colour I made the jacket above out of. 

I started knitted and with some help from my mum we decided to knit 3 panels made from four balls of wool as this would make a large enough blanket. I made a start a few weeks back; 

And last night, I finished the first panel off. Turned out longer then I thought it would do but it's not very wide which is why I need to get knitting the other 2 panels so then they can be joined them together. I shall keep an update of this but I've set a deadline for finishing it by the end of the month. 

In between knitting the big blanket, (I do sometimes get bored working on a long project) I have a new jacket to make. This one has a hood and the jacket itself is made in one piece. It also needed a new wool that I've not knitted with before- Aran. I choice the rainbow wool which is a cotton and then the other two are 75% wool. So I got new blends to work with too. 

I'm looking forward to 'levelling up' my knitting with this project.    

I actually have lots to keep me busy- probably for the rest of the year!- as a new wool order came in! This huge box is full of the blanket wool in a range of colours. My plan is still to knit blankets to sell, I just need to get around to it. 

Also, I got these two new squishes. They are so good for my anxiety and help me sleep better at night.  

Lastly don't forgot to check out my other blog; where I'm currently taking part in the A-Z blogging Challenge by writing a short story everyday based on a word writing prompt.

Also, here's a cute photo of my dog sunbathing. 

(All photos my own).

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

April Life Update; That Drowning Feeling.

Hi readers,

I'm struggling today. I'm still not well and had to take some more time of work but I now have to look at claiming benefits again as I've used up all my sick pay. It's a bit of a catch 22 situation because I don't want to but I don't have a choice. So, I have to go through trying to put a claim in and hoping I can get some finical support.

I also have to go back to work next Saturday, even if I don't feel well enough because not going will just make this situation worse. I want to go back. I enjoy my job and working, so I will try hard to self manage my colitis. 

That isn't an easy task, it's okay to avoid the food, drink and pain relief tablets that trigger me but what my battle really is about is my anxiety and stress. Trying to keep both of them down, is currently hard for me to do as I have so many worries and now I have the money and work ones back! 

I know deep down I will get through all of this. I've done so before and it's just a rough time for me again. I have the support of a lot of people around me, though I know today doesn't feel like that's the case but it's very much true. 

I'm also real lucky that I still live with my parents and don't have all the responsibilities of paying bills etc. I have some emergency money savings which can see me through till this month's payday, so as long as I don't actually buy anything for the next few weeks I'll be fine. So, I'm going to try and not worry about that all too much.

I've used some of those savings today to pay for my car tax and MOT. As my car was due both and the last thing I need is to be worrying about losing my car. My dad will make sure my car passes the MOT test, so I don't need to worry about that, just got to let him do some work on things this weekend to make that a positive pass as much as possible. 

So, now I just have to try and sent all this side and focus on other things. I know that's easily said then done! But I know that spending time over worrying, being upset, depressed and anxious won't get me anywhere or make anything better. Acting and trying to solve my issues with a calm mind and heart is the best way to go. 

Trying to stay positive has always been a hard thing for me to do. I like to think I'm a positive, happy person but that's not actually the case. I make myself like that because that's how I think I should be. I'm sure some of you also do that. Being negative and unhappy is a lot easier to do and people noticed that a lot more too. 

I do feel a bit like I'm drowning at the moment. It's like being on a boat in a storm and being thrown overboard. I'm struggling to save myself from the crushing waves and I know only I can really do that. Other people might be throwing the life ring out for me but it's up to me to grab it and hang on. 

So, what I do I do when I'm in this situation? Normally, I do have a break down. I cry lot and wonder over so much. I talk to people - my parents, boyfriend, some friends and just let everything out to them and try to listen to whatever advice they give me. Which can be hard as sometimes I don't want that but afterwards, it kinda useful to think about their suggestions and maybe act on them. 

I do lots of writing - in my diary, reflectively and though it can be hard, short stories. I can let everything out and I don't have to show my writing to anyone and I can just release all my thoughts and feelings on to paper and then it doesn't go around in my head. Actually, I do have a big focus this month as it's the A-Z Blogging Challenge! I'm wring a short story everyday prompted by words that are new to me. You can check it out on my other blog here;

One of the other things I do is blast some heavy metal music and sing along. It's really get way to de-stress and just release all my emotions. Sometimes I'm too ill or not in the mood for this, so finding the right moment sometimes has to wait. But by taking the hours to do this, it's worth it as I often feel so much better afterwards and like I'm rising above everything that's getting me down. 

I have lots of bands and songs, I cycle through but I always return to these favourite bands; Disciple, Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, Iron Maiden, Drowning Pool, Bullet For My Valentine, Bring Me The Horizon and Soil. All their songs speak to my soul and find a peace in the lyrics that I don't get anywhere else. 

The other thing I do to feel more positive and really I need to do more of this as I've found it can help lot and also change my mind set, is to get my Happy Books out. I think I've wrote about this before but briefly, a friend got me a notebook that had Happy Book on it and I decided to collect quotes and memes and imagines that made me happy inside the book. When I filled it, I went and brought this artist's A4 book to continue doing this. 

The front cover is a temporary thing until I get around to making one.      

I used Pinterest to help find things that make me happy and this can just be anything. I put this into a document, print them, cut them and stick them in the book. This helps focus my mind and also soak up some positive thinking. Here's an example of this; 

Recently, I have also turned to knitting and that helps me get through too. I was going to add to the end of this post about my recently finished knitting and my current projects but this post is all ready too long as I'll leave it like this now. 

I hope that things do get sorted for me soon and that things can change. Keep your fingers crossed for me. 

Thanks for reading and don't forget to check out my other blog. 

(Photos my own).

Monday, 11 March 2019

March Life Update; Knitting Many Things!

Hi readers, 

I'm currently really ill due to my long term illness, which I'm still in debates about writing a blog post on. Though I do feel the need to do this more and more just get some of my frustrations out! Anyway, this is a much nicer post today and it's about all the things I - and I one thing my mum made- have been knitting. Normally, I just put them into other Update posts but I've not been up to writing much lately. Though my short story a day blog is sill going - more out of habit then anything else. 

First off, let's start with the dog soft toy that's heading this post. He's so cute and snugly! He's made of Sirdar snuggly snowflake for the white bits and a soft double knit with a main brown colour and a mixed colour pattern - which didn't turn out that great- for the body but it makes him look different. I didn't give him a lot of stuffing because I wanted him soft and squidgy.

I have enough wool to make 4 or 5 more and my plan is to do one for my best friend's daughter's 1st birthday and then one each for when my brothers and their partners have kids. These doggies are so cute and simple to knit as it's all squares and rectangles. I can't wait to knit another one! 

I do like knitting baby stuff even though I'm not knitting with anyone in mind. I guess if and when I do get around to having babies all these knitted things will be useful. I think the main reason I like knitting baby stuff is because it's quick to finish things and you can knit easy or hard patterns, plus, the things are so cute! 

Booties were the first baby thing I made and I also learnt to increase with this pattern. I like to try and make different kinds of booties now. These ones below, I made in my favourite colour purple and added large star buttons to the front. I really like how they turned out. Also, making baby booties let's you practise different knitting techniques and they are super cute! 

The other baby things I like knitting is baby jackets. My mum found a real simple pattern which is just one rectangle for the back, two rectangles for the front panels and two smaller rectangles for the sleeves. There is no increasing or decreasing and it's just the plain knit stitch. Plus, its made of chunky wool so it knits real fast.

I've made a few of these jackets now and I've adapted the pattern to be made in double knit wool. My last jacket, I made out of Sirdar snuggly snowflake chunky and I decided the wool was so nice and I had many balls of it, I wanted to make it into a coat instead. With my mum's help, I learnt to add rows to make the length bigger. Once done, I also wanted to make a hood and mum helped me to that and add the little bear ears on top! To finish, large star buttons which I learnt how to make button holes for.  

I'm really happy with how this coat turned out! It looks so snuggly and warm for winter time. 

I've more wool to knit other jackets out of, including wool that is pattern to knit up like little flowers, I can't wait to try that one out! That's actually on my to do list next. 

The last thing I made and finished was this cute little bear comforter. I had problems making the head because I couldn't get the increase right. I got too frustrate with it and mum made it for me. I did the rest of it though because the ears, arms and blanket were easier. Once again it's made out of Sirdar snuggly snowflake and just snuggly for the bear bits. This bear comes from the same pattern book as the dog. 

The bear turned out well, even though I had bit of trouble with it! I'm not I'll be making another one any time soon, even though I have the wool to make a blue one. 

My mum has also been knitting baby things but of late, she's been making bits of pieces of things including a tea cosy and a regency doll's costume dress. She also made this little sheep. He come from a kit that someone give me ages ago but I can't do the little loop pattern, so mum made it instead. It took her ages because she had re-learn how to to the loop and the sheep is quite small too! 

The sheep turned out really well and mum didn't put a lot of stuffing in, so it's real squishy. There's a also a lamb in the box still to be made too, I want to say I'll have a go at making it, but I doubt it. For now this sheep is living on my bedside table and become a perfect comforter for my anxiety attacks.  

It's not just me and my mum that love wool, our dog Patch does too! She loves cuddling up to whatever wool ball we are using but the softer the better, though she's not a fan of fluffy stuff. She often sleeps between us or behind one of us whilst we knit and if the wool ever gets stuck, Patch is often the cause!  

Rainbow Blanket Project 

As part of my wool order for the Sirdar snuggly snowflake, I got this one called rainbow splash. I love all the bright colours! My first plan was to make a baby jacket/coat like I did out of the white/purple/blue mix further up in this post, but the thick strips that the rainbow colours made didn't look good. So, I decided it would make a better blanket instead, so I undid the half back of the jacket I made and began a baby/toddler size blanket. 

My first try though didn't turn out wide enough and you can see how thick the lines are in the photo above compared to the two below. I decided, despite having knitted almost a ball and half, that I did like the size of it, so once again I undid all my work and give this wool a third attempted!

This time though, I liked it better and it's wide enough now too. 

Since my re-start, I've been trying to work on this blanket as much as possible, it's been maybe around two-three months now and I have four balls left to knit in. As you can see from my recent photo, this blanket has grown! 

I really hope to get it finished by the end of this month and of course I shall post a photo when it's complete. It's getting real big now and becoming more of a toddler/child blanket then a baby's one! It'll be put to a good use in the future, I'm sure.  

That's it for this post, thanks for reading and happy knitting! 

(All photos belong to me). 

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Flashback To February Life Update; Snow and Valentine's Day!

Hi readers,

I started writing this blog post before I got really sick, so I'm not doing any editing and posting as I wrote it back in early February.

I want to say I'm glad January is over but winter is still here! It does snow in the Manchester, England area where I live but as I am in-between areas of higher grounds those towns normally get it first and I don't get to see that much snow.

These last few weeks, there has been two separate bouts of snowfall during day and night time. The first of these, the snow fell then soon melted, the second time the snow got iced over during the night and there small piles for two or three days. The rest of the week is looking clear, so I'm not sure if we'll get anymore now.

I'm sort of torn over my feels about snow; I love the way it makes everything look but I hate the issues it causes. Now I drive a car - almost my 3rd year now- I find that snow, ice and freezing fog are high on the danger list for weather conditions to drive in. I've been lucky so far that I've been okay driving in those and all kinds of other weather. It's something you get use to and more experience with. I am also getting to know when not to risk driving as of it the snow hasn't been that deep or icy but it's something to watch out for.

Luckily, most of the snow is staying away and it's not lasting that long when it does fall and freeze. 

I do think snow has this thing about it that makes everything more pretty and magical, I guess all those snowy Christmas imagines that have set this in my mind. The garden looks transformed into something different at the minute which is interesting to look out at. It's not so good for the animals - especially the birds, so we've been putting out extra food.

Also, my dog Patch isn't a fan of the snow. I'm not sure if because it's cold and damp/wet and reminds her of rain which she hates or if she's just not use to it. She'll play in a little dusting but anything deeper and she doesn't like even sticking her nose outside! 

To be honest though, I think she does have the right idea! I'm not a fan of the freezing cold myself and snow days are really just perfect for curling up inside on the sofa or bed with a huge book to read and supply of hot drinks and snacks.

Valentine's Day!

This Valentine's Day, my boyfriend and I didn't make any plans, partly because he was at work and I've not been feeling well these last few weeks. I just want over to his and he made us dinner which was a chicken tray bake. He's not good at cooking as I really appreciate him making the effort. It tasted really nice. We did go out to a garden centre which I really like going too and he brought me a cactus! It's so cute and looks like it's heart shaped.  

For anybody who knows me, I love cacti, I have a collection and bit of an obsession! I like each one I own to be different, so this one fits right in as I don't have one like this! And it's extra special as it was a present from my boyfriend. 

He also got me this unicorn kitty and amethyst bracelet which has a tree of life charm on it - below. I got him a t-shirt, a wall sign about Star Wars heroes, and key ring jigsaw pieces which had two fitting halves with matching sayings on. I let him pick which one he wanted and I kept the other. On my house keys now, so I don't forget. 

So, a quiet Valentine's this year but it's been just as special.    

Lastly and this doesn't connect with Valentine's as we have been planning this for awhile now, in June we are off to London to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour! 

I'm really excited, even more so now I've seen the tickets! We meant to go from my 30th Birthday last July but we went to Cornwall instead. This year we are going for our 3rd anniversary and it's going to be so good! We have planned other things to do in London as well as it's going to be a full half a week of exploring places.    

You can bet I'll be writing all about that in June. For now though, here's to the end of winter and the being of Spring. See you next time.  

(All photos belong to me)


Friday, 18 January 2019

January Life Update; I broke a goal /resoluation all ready!

Hi Readers,

My new year hasn't got off to the greatest of starts. I've had a bad head cold which took an age to clear up but then I had a really bad allergic reaction to something and that's made me super ill. I'm still recovering from that now, I'm glad I'm feeling better to start writing again too.

So, if you have't guessed by this post's title and the above photo, I broke my goal about not buying books! It happened a few days after that post was published and my mum had an offer at a discount book place, so I got all these books without thinking about it. Now, I'm determined to stay on track.

All the books but one are non-fiction. The fiction one is an anthology of dark stories that looked interesting. There are two plants and stars books as I've always had an interested in space and a wanting to know more. Then a sewing book which will be handy for work! The patterns are pull outs and the instructions so easy. The last three books are mental health connected; dealing with stress, anxiety and insomnia.

My book shelves are way over flowing my my current reading list far too long, so no more books for me! I better get busy reading!

Moving on, I wanted to share my new dice bags and dice for Dungeons and Dragons. I wanted to get a soft treasure chest that was actually a mimic monster and it was so cute, but I could only get it from America and it was out of stock almost everywhere and the two I did find had expensive postage, so it wasn't worth it.

I came across these bags on Etsy and really loved them, they are soft and fit in over a hundred dice! I couldn't decided if I liked the witch one or the dice one better, so I got both and I loved the unicorn neon dice too. I've not had a chance to show them off at the club yet as I've been too ill to go, but hopefully soon. 

This post is going to be short today as I'm all ready on the last thing I wanted to write about and that's knitting - again!

I've not been doing much these passed few weeks I've been ill. That sleeping bag I started knitting I've had to give to my mum to finish as I just felt I'd had enough of knitting it, which is how I get with stuff that is big and takes a long time to knit. So, I've got smaller projects to move on to now. 

First though, here's a photo of me wearing the new jumper my mum had just finished making. I originally brought this wool to make into a blanket. I liked the colours and thought it would make like a nice lap blanket but then I found a pattern for a jumper I really liked and my mum decided this wool would be better for that. I'm glad she did as it turned out really well! It's warm and soft, snugly too but it's not too hot or colourfully for me.  

Next, here's more wool! It's not been brought recently though. Got three more projects with this lot lined up now. The small colourful balls, I plan to try and make fish out of. I found this link below on how to turn knitted squares into cute fish and I want to give it ago. Knitting squares takes me right back to learning how to knit too!  

Making a fish;

The blue and yellow balls on the right are going to be baby jackets. The wool knits into a pattern and turns into cute little flowers! So my simple knitted jackets should look like I've done more hard work! The last lot is the blue and coloured strips at the bottom, I plan to make that into a baby blanket as its really soft and fluffy.

I've also got some little mice to knit too and some pompom animals to make! Plus, some bags to sew too, so I got lots to keep me going over the next few months. I'll be sharing updates and finished things on here, so keep an eye out of them!

Closing this post today is a photo of my dog, Patch. I was tidying up and just tossed her bedding which was all over the floor on to her bed and thus then happened! She does look super cosy in her blanket fort!

Thanks for reading, till next time!

(All photos belong to me).